The M422 was designed for the U.S. Marine Corps to fill the requirement of a small, lightweight, low profile, highly maneuverable vehicle. What the Marines got was a vehicle that did just that, and gave incredible off-road performance as well. The Mighty-Mite was developed by Mid-America Research Corp., but was perfected and produced by American Motors from 1959-63.
Only 1,250 of the original version of the M422 were built. Early models used a unique, and now hard to find, windshield.
The four-speed transmission was combined with a two-speed transfer case to shorten the driveline. All Mighty-Mites had limited slip differentials front and rear which, together with their short turning radius and light weight, gave them superb off-road performance. The limited slip differentials combined with the center of gravity of the vehicle allowed it to be operated normally with either one of the rear wheels missing. For this reason, Mighty-Mites were not originally equipped with spare tires.
American Motors produced the Mighty-Mite before it owned Jeep. The Mighty-Mite was replicated as a popular children’s toy at the time.
With an aluminum body, and an aluminum air-cooled 108 cubic inch V-4 engine, the Mighty-Mite weighed just less than one ton.
Weight: 1,700 pounds
Size (LxWxH): 107” x 61” x 60”
Max Speed: 62 mph
Range: 225 miles
Military Vehicles Magazine uses a given a value based on a 1-to-6 condition grading scale as follows:
1=Excellent: Restored to maximum professional standards, or a near-perfect original. 2=Fine: Well-restored, or a combination of superior restoration and excellent original parts.
3=Very Good: Complete and operable original or older restoration, or a very good amateur restoration with all presentable and serviceable parts inside and out.
4=Good: Functional or needing only minor work to be functional. Also, a deteriorated restoration or poor amateur restoration.
5=Restorable: Needs complete restoration of body, chassis, and interior. May or may not be running, but is not wrecked, weathered or stripped to the point of being useful only for parts.
6=Parts Vehicle: Deteriorated beyond the point of restoration.
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